Saturday, October 24, 2015

September 2015 in Seattle and The Instructors Regatta

While at the Seattle Aquarium I checked out the Whale tooth exhibit.

The long seawall section just outside the Seattle Aquaium is finished, lots of vendors out selling their art on the new space.

I have so many hours of free sailing I will never be able to use them up but taking advantage of  them all but this fine windy summer day I sailed to both Bridges!

Perfect for the 20' Blanchard Jr. Knockabouts.

This little steam vessel has been in the shop for a long time being restored...ready to go again.

first time to see a sailing rig on one of the livery's rowboats

ready for fun...........

Another building in the Amazon Complex finished complete with Artsy plaza.

Walked to the Ferry and spent the day in Winslow on Bainbridge Island.

This time we found the water front trail.

The Public dock is guarded by this frog.

Add caption

Maybe this old bike will become an attradction some day like the one on Vashion Island.

An old vessel serving as a Stage in the park.

Interesting Mariner Yachts International 37' Trawler

Add caption

We almost bought a Vagabond, but it sold before we could make an offer.

Dressed to go to the Symphony for the 1st ever  Seattle Symphony Piano Competition 

Local trying to pick up the Admiral!

The admiral attended some of the preliminaries so she has a head start.

The Audience got to vote for the Audience Favorite on thier smart phones.

Living in condos comes with lots of rules, they continually post the latest rule or whatever in the elevators.

But you can see some fine sunsets from the 12th floor.

Got to go sailing with Brian again on a J80, I love these boats, they get up to speed the moment you get the sails set.

I am trying hard to get Brian to become my replacement volunteer sailing instructor at the Center For Wooden Boats. He is very close to being ready and I think he is eager to do it! 

We have driven by this park several times.

it has a few cool views but it is really just a neighborhood park, not worth the visit.

And some cool trees as well.

There are always berries you can pick along the fence lines wherever you are in the Pacific Not=Northwest

So we drove up to Magnolia Bluff, Mush better up here and much better views. An excellent walk.

This goes all the way down the bluff, it would be a really long hike back up countless stairs so we just thought maybe next time. 

Homes like this line the street here.

I am sure they all own boats like this.

Best Tomato Patch I have seen since I quit gardening.

I signed up right away, last year I was late signing up and there was no spots left so I missed the event. It's first come first serve for the Instructors so I responded immediately and got a Skipper spot.

I drew the Best Crew Ever...John who has volunteered here for almost 30 years.

 I took the helm the first race and placed second. By John's actions and remarks I knew I could learn a lot from him.

So I asked him to take the second race. He Got us another 2nd place.

The winds were good but not Great so it took some skill and concentration to race with these Seasoned PNW Sailors.

Here we got a great start and John at the helm again got us a First Place finish.

Everyone was working hard.

But these were the only ones hiking out.

John earned us another second and a fourth.

I took the helm for the 6th race and avoided the crowd at the start, Hitting the start line right at the windward end of the line.

Just a few feet a head at the second mark.

We had the advantage.

 Tacking for the windward mark. Fortunately the winds were a bit gusty and I was able to use them to scallop our way up to the mark without tacking.

I finished the 6th race with a first place. You can just see the bow of our nearest competitors as we approach the finish line.

September 2015 in Seattle and The Instructors Regatta

September was a lot of this and that. Knowing our time here is soon coming to a close we just wanted to check off a few last things on the PNW to do list and savor those things that have brought us so much fun here in Seattle. The Seattle Aquarium with Bid "D", sailing Lake Union, day tripping to Bainbridge Island, The Seattle Symphony, and a couple of new Seattle parks to discover,
Knowing that my time at the Center For Wooden Boats is also coming to a close I wanted to try and find a replacement volunteer to take my place. Fortunately I met Brain who is a retired meteorologist from Colorado. He and his wife also followed their kids up this direction and are trying to find ways to split their time between Colorado and Seattle. They have also just started to learn to sail and just sailing with him a few times I knew he could make a great instructor if I could just help him get his skills up a bit. It has turned into a great friendship and have been able to spend quit a bit of time sailing, teaching, and learning. He just recently completed the sailing checkout at CWB and I feel will soon be sound enough to teach the CWB SailNow! curriculum. He already knows a everything about the wind and weather so its a perfect match!
The most fun I have ever had racing was in the recent Instructors Regatta at CWB. We are a competitive family and we like to win. It comes from 30 years as a soccer coach and enough competitive racing that I know I can at least finish respectively (meaning not last and not to far from the leading group). I missed the event last year because I did not register early enough. As soon as the email came out this year I immediately responded and  thereby got a spot as a skipper. I would not know who my crew was until the day of the event but I got real Lucky and John who has volunteered there for over 30 years was assigned as my crew.
You know how it is when you just meet someone for the first time just before you are going to enter a competition as a team in the next few moments, you begin to immediately feel each other out in terms of experience and racing knowledge. Well, he was just as eager to know what kind of racing experience I had as well, I knew I had competent crew right away, in fact I would most likely be the one learning the most this day.
I took the helm for the first race and hoped my Iphone battery would last long enough to use the countdown timer for the race starts. Trying to steer and fumble with a Iphone is kind of stupid but I hit the start line and managed to pull slightly ahead hitting the first mark second. I maintained our position without any chance of catching the leader in the short triangular course. But Hey I was ecstatic! I just finished ahead of some very competent sailors, These are mostly old dudes who never smile (unless you give them a beer), and when you sail near them they look at you like your their enemy. John who had some not so subtle comments about my work got my attention and so I asked him to take the helm for the second race. His technique and sail trim was much different from what I believed and I was intrigued. I knew I could learn from this guy, as he too placed second in the second race. I told him to just keep the helm and the next race we placed first!. Why kill a good thing. I told him to continue and I would try my hardest to trim faster to his liking's. This time we earned a second again, the same crew kept placing first ahead of us. I thought about taking the helm back but thought I should just keep it as it was and continue to learn his methods since it is a very rare opportunity to sail with these old PNW salts!.
The 5th race we were preparing for the start and we were suddenly in the mix of four others who some seemed so desperate to place that they were taking at crazy moments at the start and put us in a bad position causing us to tack twice near the start, crossing the line 5th. We never recovered and finished 4th place. John apologized but the fact was we were sucked into a bad place and was just not able to overcome the bad start.
I took the helm back anyway. I already learned as much as I was going to anyway and I managed a perfect start at the windward end of the start line. I used as much as I could from John and plus I used a technique that my very first racing mentor, Derek Crawford, taught me on Canyon Lake using weather helm during gust to scallop my way up towards the windward mark. We had just enough weather to never need to tack towards the weather mark and even though our nearest competitors were just feet behind we had the advantage at the last mark and left them by nearly two boat lengths at the finish.


John and I placed second in the Regatta and since I brought the beer to the event I made sure everyone smiled!